NEW DELHI: Chinese handset maker Xiaomi is making another attempt at cracking India’s mid-to-premium market with its latest handsets under its newly created sub-brand Redmi. With powerful specs and flagship design, the market leader is going aggressively in the $300 to $500 segment, competing with One Plus 7, Vivo, Oppo and Samsung.
ManuKumar Jain, global VP Xiaomi and MD Xiaomi India said the handset maker is more focused on the mid and premium segment as more customers are looking for upgrade. “We are now starting to see a movement and growth potential in mid and premium segments. We want to tap new customer segments with new phones. It will help our brand positioning in India,” Jain said.
The top variant of Redmi K20 Pro is priced at Rs 30,999. It also launched Redmi K20 at a starting price of Rs 21,999.
According to Counterpoint Research analysis, the premium segment Rs 30,000 and above is the fast-growing segment at 20% compared to 10% growth for the overall market.
Redmi as a sub-brand now spans a very wide price range from less than $100 to nearing $500 with K20 Pro. Analysts believe that It will be the most important brand for Xiaomi going forward.
Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint said that the premium and even mid-segment is offering enough room to every brand to grow. “We are seeing different tiers of premium emerging now with different use cases such as camera or gaming.”
Xiaomi had previously tried to disrupt the premium segment with its Poco F1 smartphone with Snapdragon 845 processor but priced it below the premium category. It also has its Mi smartphone portfolio which it uses in European markets to offer premium handsets.
Jain said that there could be smartphones from its sub-brand and other portiolio in the same price category, but they will target different customer segments. “…some cannibalisation will happen, but not much.”
“We expect the Redmi K series to become a disruptor in the market,” he added.
Navkendar Singh, research director at IDC India said that the K series is an important launch for Xiaomi in terms of both giving flagship specs at such an aggressive price while also “attempting to climb up the price ladder with more seriousness (vs Poco F1) , more specifically for Redmi as a brand.”
“This should be seen as a step in the right direction by Xiaomi. Its customer base acquired in last 2 years or so, mainly in $100 to 300 segment, will be looking to upgrade now and Xiaomi would like to ring fence them within the Xiaomi brand family,” Singh added.
Xiaomi, which has just completed five years in India, is also planning to replicate the success in the handset across all other product categories like consumer durables and connected devices. “Our next five years will focus on replicating the handset success across other categories,” Jain said.
Xiaomi had 46% online volume market share in January-May period, as per Counterpoint data. It also remained the leader with an overall 30% share during the same period.
Jain said that Xiaomi has learned a lot from its rival Samsung for devising the offline strategy. “They have built a phenomenal brand and reach in India. We learn from all other brands.”
On competition, Jain said that other brands have started copying Xiaomi’s brand strategy by launching different sub-brands and “series” smartphones for the Indian market. “Imitation is a sincerest form of flattery. We have changed the game and redefined how smartphone markets should behave and are not worried at all about the competition.”
Interestingly, Xiaomi’s bitter rival Realme’s India CEO Madhav Sheth had recently told ET that India’s top smartphone maker is “insecure” about the relative newcomer’s success.
Source: Economic Times